William Correro column

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 19, 2008

Regular season ended with good trip to Atlanta

The early December trip to Atlanta is always a good end to the regular season. Going with my whole crew is a good thing, too. My sons love to go even if it causes a few extra days of missed school – knowing how much they hate to miss.

On Friday they have the coaches’ luncheon and I was really interested to see just how much Coach Meyer and Coach Sabin would actually say. Those two are not the most talkative of the lot and their press conferences always look like they are not having much of a good time. But Dave Neal did a good job of getting some good stuff out of them.

We had our official’s annual dinner that Friday night and it was very enjoyable too. The Championship Crew and this year’s retiring officials were all honored plus some awards given out. But then Saturday was game day and it was pretty much typical except for being indoors and in early December that is a very good thing. CBS was crazy with all the extra people in for the on-site pre-game and halftime show with Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman, and Archie Manning. It was a double crew in the trucks but at least they got out of the way for the game itself.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

My own observation on the game: the reason it was a close game was due to all the players Florida had out due to injuries. Even so, it was a great game for TV and all of the eighty-five thousand in the Georgia Dome. I’m also thinking that the Gators will have several weeks to get everyone healthy and when they meet up with Oklahoma in Miami, they will give the Sooners some advanced education in how things are done in the SEC. In other words they are going to take them to school.

I still have two more games to work. The Sun Bowl in El Paso on New Year’s Eve and then the Sugar Bowl on January 2.

Alabama will also have a while to get all healthy and I would have to say that Utah will get some advanced degree work on SEC football at that time, too. Ought to be fun.

Every year at the SEC Championship Game they recognize some legends of SEC football. This year our own Bobby Ray Franklin was the honoree from Ole Miss for his days as a quarterback in the late 1950s. Three straight bowl game wins and sharing the national championship in 1959 is a pretty strong case to be a legend for sure.

I was proud to tell the other officials and my CBS friends that he is a good friend. I also got to meet Alabama’s legend this year and another hero of mine in the form of Bart Starr. The Packers of the 60s were my favorite back then and I still have the bubble gum cards to prove it.

Now it’s back over to Ole Miss to work with them getting ready for the Cotton Bowl and Texas Tech. I was talking with Coach Nutt during practice last week and he said it is pretty good on this anniversary of when he first came to Ole Miss – going to the Cotton Bowl.